Powerhouses Shonda Rhimes and Debbie Allen recently announced the release of the second season of Real Beauty Productions, an initiative created by Dove in 2017 designed to redefine beauty standards to reflect real women.
Allen told Blavity that her passion for the project surfaced after reflecting on her own experience battling traditional society’s standards of beauty and learning to take pride in her own physical appearance.
“We as black women need to see ourselves, and we look so many different ways, and people have to stand there, look at themselves, and see a reflection of God. There is a reason why we don’t all look the same. We don’t need to look the same.”
In “An Hour With Her,” Dove Real Beauty Productions tells the story of inspiring women who mentor girls to build their self-esteem. The latest episode features Dove Self-Esteem Project ambassador and actress Chelsea Harris and high schooler and aspiring actress Caralyn Singleterry.
The two shared their personal experiences with bullying and battling the pressures of society’s standards. Harris spoke about how she was able to overcome bullying and appearance related negativity as a woman of color.
“For me, some of the different aspects of being African American became things that I just didn’t feel good about. I used to wear makeup that was way too light for my skin, and I used to have these bright green contacts. Then I would wear a lot of long super straight hair extensions. It’s just one of those things where I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognize myself.”
She went on to credit the Dove Self-Esteem Project with helping her break through years of self-doubt to embrace her natural beauty and gain the confidence to follow her dreams.
Watch the full episode below: